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The Mabinogion Tetralogy (Mabinogion Tetralogy #1-4 )

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  904 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
The retelling of the epic Welsh myth that is "certainly among the top 5 fantasy series of the twentieth century" (

The Mabinogion is to Welsh mythology what the tales of Zeus, Hera, and Apollo are to Greek myth. these tales constitute a powerful work of the imagination, ranking with Tokien's Lord of the Rings novels and T.H. White's The Once and Future King. Eva
Paperback, 720 pages
Published December 31st 2003 by The Overlook Press (first published April 1st 1980)
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Deni Cary Yes. Very much. I hope by now you have started and are learning and loving the Welsh myths.
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Christopher Paolini
This is another of my favorite and lesser known fantasy novels. Evangeline Walton's work had a big influence on how I approach descriptions, which you can probably see most clearly in Inheritance when Eragon visits Vroengard island.

The Mabinogion Tetrology is a bit of an odd thing because the story is cobbled together from Welsh myths and legends, so perhaps it’s not as cohesive story-wise as something like The Lord of the Rings is, which was created whole-cloth.

But Evangeline Walton's writin
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Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Whoooooooaaaaaaa I wasn't ready for how good this was. I was expecting something more mediocre but I'm happy I took a chance with it. Walton is indescribably beautiful with words. Her Mythic Wales is true in every way to the misty legends that have been passed down. Instead of misty though, Walton takes those ancient stories and clears the mist, humanizing and modernizing the legends.

This contemporary novelization of the Mabinogion is a metaphoric dusting and dragging forth of the gods, heroes a
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Since I plan to break up my reading of each branch of this set, I will post my thoughts about each as I finish, adding a overall conclusion at the end.

First Branch - Prince of Annwn

I had no idea what to expect before reading this other than a vague notion that it was a re-telling of a medieval Welsh/Celtic prose stories. I was completely unfamiliar with the original stories so I can't comment on how well it has been interpreted but judging this in its own right I have to say that I am well impre
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review also available on my blog The Shameful Narcissist Speaks.

******Warning: Some mentions of rape as it pertains to the narrative.******

I first cut my teeth on Welsh Mythology with The First Chronicles Of Prydain of Lloyd Alexander, books written for children, and rife with the myths of that land. It was where I first saw the name "Gwydion" and heard the term "Son of Don" and "Math Son of Mathonwy." At the time I though Don and Mathonwy were the names of their fathers since lineage now and st
Caitie Deranek
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As the odd bird in the room who is frustrated often with books that are less than 400 pages, I was thrilled when I saw the size of The Madinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton. I was not necessarily familiar with Welsh folklore as I began to read this, so it was an interesting foray on multiple levels.

I found the stories charmingly simple, and fairly predictable, although I was surprised by how much of the four novels was really more fantasy than myth. There is very little discussion of how cer
Aug 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This series is a truly beautiful and tragic retelling of a part of the Welsh epic, The Mabinogian. The best of the four, in my opinion is The Children of Llyr (book II, which deserves 5 stars. The language is lyrical and the tale touching, disturbing and even heart-rending. Walton is able to capture the epic mood and the spirit of the orginal in a compelling narrative style. Any changes or additions read as if they have always been a part of the tale. One of the only instances of which I can thi ...more
Apr 05, 2007 rated it liked it
The story behind these books is as intersting as the stories themselves - one of the longest fantasy epics of the 20th century was written before Tolkien by a young woman in the twenties and thirties. The books were before their time; as there was no fantasy market, no one would publish them, and they languished for fourty years until a relative found the manuscripts and encouraged Walton, now in her late 60s, to publish them. The Mabinogion is an epic retelling of Welsh mythology, and at times ...more
Feb 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
I first read these when they were originally published in the 1970s. Re-reading them today, I find them still to be a powerful re-telling of ancient myth. They are set in a time when the ancient matriarchal tribes of the British Isles were first meeting and integrating the ideas of patriarchal invaders. Walton does a marvelous job of casting these in modern form. This is a large book that was originally published in 4 volumes. One minor drawback is that it appears the original books were process ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
The Book of Three series whet my appetite for learning more about Welsh culture, and at a friend's recommendation (thanks, Mitchell!) I read this series in order to get a better sense of Welsh mythology. It's written in a somewhat stylized manner like many other myths I've read (), but it's also told as more of a story so it's a bit easier to read.

The four books that compose the Mabinogion Tetralogy are loosely connected; the next one usually picks up about the time the previous one ended and ei
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Evangeline Walton was the pen name of Evangeline Wilna Ensley, an American author of fantasy fiction. She remains popular in North America and Europe because of her “ability to humanize historical and mythological subjects with eloquence, humor and compassion”.
More about Evangeline Walton...

Other Books in the Series

Mabinogion Tetralogy (4 books)
  • Prince of Annwn (Mabinogion Tetralogy #1)
  • The Children of Llyr
  • The Song of Rhiannon
  • Island of the Mighty
“Yet woman, though she ceased to be a king* and man protected her, was still reverenced as the source of life. Only now when man is learning that she cannot give life without him does he begin to scorn her whom he protects. So she that created property will become property. “So it is already in the Eastern World, so it will be here. And out of that constant injustice will rise continually more evils to breed wars and fresh injustice until men forget that there was ever a world at peace. When humankind lets one half of humankind be enslaved it will be long and long, even when that slavery wanes, before freedom is respected and nation ceases to tear nation; before the world unlearns the habit of force.” He” 0 likes
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